Egypto-Chaldean cultural age

From Anthroposophy

The third cultural age of the Current Postatlantean epoch, the time period between -2970 BC to -747 BC, is usually denoted as the Egypto-Chaldean age, because those cultures represent the summit of human cultural development during that period in the Southern stream of development.

The center of cultural developments was lying in the area peopled by the Egyptian, Chaldean, Babylonian, Assyrian people. This same time period was also important in the development of the Jewish people. In Central America the Mayan culture was at his height. Central Europe, as part of the Northern stream, had a different development line, see Two streams of development.

Chaldea lies in what was ancient Persia and now Iran, and part of the Northern stream. Egypt is part of the Southern stream.

Humanity was developing the sentient soul, and people still had a special relationship to (and clairvoyance of) the astral world (FMC00.047A). It was also the period of the Krishna impulse.



  • labelling
    • this cultural age is most often described by Rudolf Steiner as the Egypto-Chaldean, however he also uses many variants, such as Babylonian-Assyrian (eg Schema FMC00.444) and even Egyptian-Babylonian-Assyrian (1908-09-04-GA106). Sometimes he combines 'Egypto-Chaldean' and 'Chaldean-Babylonian' (1910-12-27-GA126).
    • the dual name of this cultural age is because it has parts of both the Northern and Southern streams of development (RSL ref to be added)
    • Note that
  • foundation (see Schema FMC00.453 on Migrations): already in the second cultural ages: Chaldeans, Babylonians, Phoenicians, Arabians. Decadent roots from Atlantean races:
    • decadent Primal Semites (fifth Atlantean sub-race, arithmetic) -> Chaldea: astronomy, astrology, calendar, measure/weight
    • decadent Acadians or Akkadians (sixth Atlantean sub-race, ancient trading people) -> new colonies: Phoenicians, Tyrians
  • culture and religion
    • Egyptians and Chaldeans "discerned that they were spirits living among spirits in a world of spirits .. they saw matter as filled with wisdom. Men looked up to the stars and observed their movements and influences on human life, and accordingly worked out a science which enabled them to understand these movements and influences: they brought the heavens into connection with the Earth. "(1906-09-01-GA095)
  • evolutionary perspective:
    • repetition of the Lemurian epoch, see FMC00.057C and 1914-03-07-GA152 on Recapitulation. See also the link with 'uprightness' (like the symbol of the obelisk), and the affinity with stars and zodiac (astronomy), see eg Schema FMC00.246 Three pre-MoG interventions of Christ
    • the current fifth cultural age has a remembrance of the third, see Schema FMC00.375. Kepler, Copernicus, Paracelsus are given as examples of souls part of this impulse, see quotes on that topic page.
  • historical personalities:
    • Gilgamesh (as inaugurator of the Chaldean-Babylonian culture), and Eabani (see Individuality of Rudolf Steiner)
    • pharaoh Akhenaten (or Echnaton or Akhenaton or Ankh-en-Aton), around 1350-1330 BC (see Daskalos under references below) was noted for abandoning Egypt's traditional polytheism and introducing monotheistic worship of the Sun God or Aten. See oa Great Hymn to Aten
  • Man's physiology:
    • human bodies had a different constitution from that of today and were filled to a far greater extent with vegetative life, they were (not so lifeless, not so corpse-like as the human bodies of today who resemble more the mineral world, but) far more similar to the plant nature. And with their living, plant-like body, the Egyptians perceived the plant world quite differently from the way in which we perceive it now, hence eg certain botanical facts in the medical sphere are based on the traditions of ancient Egyptian wisdom (1919-08-17-GA296)
  • historical timeline
    • contemporary history labels the period between 3300 BC and 1200 BC as the Bronze Age, and times the Mesopotamian Bronze Age between ca 3500 BC and 1100 BC. It lists first the Akkadian Empire (ca 2300 –200 BC) and Sumerian culture, and later the the Old Assyrian Empire (c. 1800–1600 BC) and Babylonian (ca 1900-500 BC).
    • from Rudolf Steiner states the Sumerian culture (see more below) goes back to the 6th and 5th millenia BC but was also key for the third cultural age . It can be logically assumes that the Sumerian civilization located in Mesopotamia or Asia Minor gave rise to the later cultures of the Assyrians and Babylonians (1910-12-30-GA126). See also Schema FMC00.453.

Egyptian culture (incl. Chaldean)

  • timeline: a period of 23 major dynasties (see wikipedia Egyptian chronology, Ancient Egypt, and History of ancient Egypt)
  • Egyptian mythology
  • culture
    • initiates were scientists of astronomy, astrology (Chaldean) and sacred geometry (Egyptian). There was clairvoyance 'reading the script of the stars' to see what would (need to) happen on Earth for millenia (1908-06-20-GA104). See also: Nostradamus.
  • leadership - egyptian pharaohs
    • pharaohs were initiates who represented Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, and sacrificed part of their astral and etheric body so the Osiris and Isis principles could work in them and be filled up with portions of the folk-soul (which the pharaoh saw to be Isis influence) . The Uraeus-serpent is the external symbol for the fact the Pharaoh took such spiritual power into himself (1908-09-14-GA106)
    • in the ancient Egyptian civilization there were two types of teachers (1911-06-07-GA015, see Spiritual guidance of mankind#1911-06-07-GA015 for full reference extract), these come back to play a role in the current fifth cultural age
      • divine leaders or angels: super-human teachers .. of whom the Egyptians said that these teachers guided mankind like gods.
      • luciferic or semi-divine leaders who did not quite attain the angelic stage
    • Uraeus-serpent is an upright cobra as a symbol of deity, part of the pharaoh's crown (more on
  • artwork:
    • pictures from clairvoyant perception of Man, "showing behind the clearly drawn countenance of the present incarnation, a second countenance less clearly painted; behind this a third that is still less clear. There are Egyptian pictures like this. You understand such pictures if you are able to perceive, behind the present Man, the Man he was in his last and second last incarnations ... clairyantly one can see "in a kind of perspective, the head of his last incarnation a little above the head of his present incarnation, and, some-what higher still, the head of his second last incarnation" (1924-02-02-GA234, see also BBD illustration))
  • see also:
  • archeological historical remains:
    • pyramids
    • Sphinx: the great Sphinx at Gizeh near the pyramid of Gizeh in Egypt is a symbol left by the Atlantean culture as a reference to this evolution and origin of Man. Rudolf Steiner states that it produced sound at sunrise under certain cosmic conditions (Sphinx#1914-03-07-GA152)
    • Colossi of Memnon (Sphinx#.5B1.5D - Sounds from stone monuments)
    • musea: Museo Egizio (Italian for Egyptian Museum) in Turin, Italy; and EMC (Egyptian Museum Cairo)

Other peoples and cultures

In the same geographical area:

  • Sumerian culture: Rudolf Steiner describes the Sumerian culture as going back to the 6th and 5th millenia BC (and so the second cultural age, 1910-12-30-GA126), but also as key for the third cultural age (1905-10-03-GA093A). It can be logically assumes that the Sumerian civilization located in Mesopotamia or Asia Minor gave rise to the later cultures of the Assyrians and Babylonians (1910-12-30-GA126)
  • Jewish culture timeline: starts around -1300 BC with Moses (Daskalos mentions the 15th century BC), followed by King David and King Solomon.
Europe in the third cultural age

across the world

  • Central America: Mayan culture
  • India: see Krishna impulse and the 'Bhagavad Gita', in which Krishna instructs his pupil Arjuna, symbol for mankind and representing the group soul, blood based clairvoyance that has to be replaced by the development of I-consciousness.
  • China: the time of the earliest Xia and Chang dynasties


Lecture coverage and references

Overview coverage

1908-GA106 on Egyptian Myths and Mysteries, see also Egyptian mythology

Reference extracts


'A Christmas lecture'

Follow me in thought for a few moments, into an ancient Egyptian temple, to a ceremony that was celebrated around midnight on those days that correspond to our Christmas day.

On this day (or better said, around midnight) one of the four pictures that were shown only four times per year was unveiled and carried before a small gathering of people who had been prepared for this temple service. This picture was locked up in the innermost sanctuary of the temple all year long and was strictly held secret. On this day it was carried out by the old­est sacrificial priest, and a ceremony was held in front of it, which I would like to describe to you very briefly.

After the oldest priest had carried out the radiant portrait of Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, four wise priests in white vestments stepped in front of this picture.

The first wise priest in white vestments spoke before the picture the following words:

"Horus, you who are the sun in the kingdom of the spirit and you who send us the light of wis­dom

just as the sun bestows upon us the light of the world, lead us so that in the end we will no longer be what we are today."

This temple priest entered from the east.

The second temple priest entered from the north and spoke approximately the following words:

"Horus, you sun in the kingdom of spirit, you who bestow upon us love,

just as the sun is the bestower of warming forces, which draw forth the forces of the plants and fruits, so that we can become what we are not yet."

And the third temple priest came forward and said,

"Horus, you sun in the kingdom of the spirit, bestow upon us your strength,

just as the sun bestows upon the physical world its strength, with which it dissipates the darkest clouds and spreads light everywhere."

After this third sacrificial priest had spoken, a fourth priest stepped forward and said approximately the following,

"The three wisest of us have spoken. They are my brothers but they are beyond the sphere in which I am still. I am the representative of you all." (And he meant the representative of the crowd.) And he said, "I will lead your voice. I will speak for you who stand there as those who have not yet come of age. I will tell my older brothers that you long for the great goal of the world, where human destiny and the eternal laws of the universe will be reconciled."

This was to be understood in this hour by those who were sufficiently prepared, just as once the unchangeable laws of the universe and human destinies were one.


Now there are various ways of finding the Godhead. ...

The third sub-race, comprising the Chaldean-Assyrian-Babylonian-Egyptian people, and later the Semites who branched off from them, came to understand these laws.

Men looked up to the stars and observed their movements and their influence on human life, and accordingly worked out a science which enabled them to understand these movements and influences. They brought the Heavens into connection with the Earth.

We can see the character of this third sub-race from a particular example. The Egyptians observed that the flooding of the Nile, when it inundates the surrounding country, occurred at the time of the rising of a particular constellation, that of Sirius; and they connected the rising of the Nile with this constellation. Again, they observed the position of the Sun at the time of the arrival and departure of certain birds; they observed the rising and the setting of the stars, their relation to one another and to mankind, and so they gradually built up a science. It became clear to them that there was a great wisdom governing all natural processes; that everything happened in accordance with great laws, and these they tried to fathom.

The ancient Chaldean priests, above all, were the custodians of profound wisdom, but for them these laws of nature were not merely abstract, nor were the stars merely physical globes. They looked on each planet as ensouled by a Being whose body it was. They had a quite concrete conception that behind every constellation was a divine Being which gave it life.

Thus the Egyptians and Chaldeans discerned that they were spirits living among spirits in a world of spirits. They saw matter as filled with wisdom.


In the third age man comes still nearer to the external sensible reality. It is no longer merely a hostile power which he has to overcome. The Indian looked up to the stars and said: “All that is there, all that I can see with external eyes, is only Maya, illusion.”

The Chaldean priests saw the orbits and positions of the stars and said:

“When I observe the positions of the stars and follow their courses it becomes to me a script from which I know the will of the divine spiritual beings. From what I there see I recognize what the gods intend.”

To them the physically sensible world was no longer Maya but, as the writing of a human being is the expression of his will, so that which was visible in the stars of heaven, which lived in the forces of nature, was to them a divine script. And with love they began to decipher nature. Thus arose the wonderful star-lore of which mankind to-day no longer has knowledge; for what is known as astrology has originated through a misunderstanding of the facts. In the writing of the stars a deep wisdom was revealed to the ancient Chaldean priest as astrology, as secrets of what his eyes beheld. He considered this as the revelation of something inward and spiritual.

And what was the earth to the Egyptians?

We need only point to the discovery of geometry, when man learnt to divide the earth according to the laws of space, according to the rules of geometry. The laws within Maya were investigated. In the ancient Persian civilization they ploughed up the earth, the Egyptians learnt to divide it according to the laws of space, they began to investigate the laws.

Still more; they said:

“The Gods have not left us a writing in the stars to no purpose, not for nothing have they announced their will to us in the laws of nature. If we wish to accomplish salvation through our own work, then in the arrangements we make here we must produce a copy of what we can discover from the stars.”

If you could look back into the laboratories of the Egyptian initiates, you would find a different kind of work from that in the realm of science today. At that time the initiates were the scientists. They investigated the courses of the stars, they understood the laws of the position and the orbits of the stars and the influence of their aspects upon what took place below on the earth. They said:

“When this or that constellation appears in the heavens, this or that must take place below in the life of the State, and when a different constellation arises, something else must take place. In a hundred years' time certain constellations of a different kind will appear, and then something corresponding to these must take place.”

It was predetermined for thousands of years in advance what was to happen. In this way originated what are called the Sibylline books. That which is contained in them is not foolishness; after careful observations the initiates wrote down what was to happen for thousands of years, and their successors knew that this should be carried out, they did nothing which was not indicated in these books for thousands of years according to the courses of the stars. Let us say some law was to be made. They did not at that time vote, as is the case with us; they consulted the sacred books in which was written what should happen here on the earth, so that it might be a mirror of what is written in the stars. They carried out what was written in the books. When the Egyptian priest wrote those books he knew that his successors would carry into effect what was written, for they were convinced of the necessity of law.

Out of this third cultural age developed the fourth. But a few remnants of this prophetic art of the Egyptians have been preserved, such a remnant can still be seen. When they wished to exercise this prophetic art in ancient Egypt, they divided the next age into seven parts and said: “The first must contain this, the second that, the third that,” etc., and this was the plan which succeeding generations carried out. That was the chief characteristic of the third cultural age.


Today we may smile when we are told how the Pharaoh was at a certain time a kind of initiate, and how the Egyptian stood in relation to the Pharaoh and to his state institutions. For the modern European scholar it is particularly comical when the Pharaoh gives himself the name, “Son of Horus,” or even “Horus.” It seems singular to us that a man should be venerated as a god; nothing more abstruse could be thought of.

But the man of today does not understand the Pharaoh and his mission. He does not know what the Pharaoh-initiation really was. Today we see in a people, only a group of persons who can be counted. To the man of today a people is a meaningless abstraction. The reality is simply a certain number of persons filling a certain area. But this is not a people for one who accepts the standpoint of occultism. As a single member such as the finger belongs to the whole body, so do the single persons within the people belong to the folk-soul. They are as it were embedded in it, but the folk-soul is not physical; it is real only as an etheric form. It is an absolute reality; the initiate can commune with this soul. It is even much more real for him than are single individualities among the people, far more so than a single person. For the occultist spiritual experiences are entirely valid, and there the folk-soul is something thoroughly real.

Let us examine briefly the connection between the folk-soul and the individuals.

  • If we think of the single individuals, the single I's, as little circles, for external physical observation they will be separate beings. But one who observes these single individualities spiritually sees them as though embedded in an etheric cloud, and this is the incorporation of the folk-soul. If the single person thinks, feels, and wills something, he radiates his feelings and thoughts into the common folk-soul. This is colored by his radiations, and the folk-soul becomes permeated by the thoughts and feelings of the single persons. When we look away from the physical man and observe only his etheric and astral bodies, and then observe the astral body of an entire people, we see that the astral body of the entire people receives its color-shadings from the single persons.

The Egyptian initiate knew this, but he also knew something further. When he observed this folk-substance, the ancient Egyptian asked himself what really lived in the folk-soul.

What did he see therein? He saw in his folk-soul the re-embodiment of Isis. He saw how she had once wandered among men. Isis worked in the folk-soul. He saw in her the same influences as those that proceeded from the moon; these forces worked in the folk-soul. What the Egyptian saw as Osiris worked in the individual spiritual radiations; therein he recognized the Osiris-influence. But Isis he saw in the folk-soul.

Thus Osiris was not visible on the physical plane. He had died for the physical plane. Only when a man had died was Osiris again placed before his eyes. Therefore we read in the Book of the Dead how the Egyptian felt that he was united with Osiris in death, that he himself became an Osiris. Osiris and Isis worked together in the state and in the single person, as his members.

Now let us again consider the Pharaoh, remembering that this was a reality for him. Each Pharaoh received certain instructions before his initiation, to the end that he should not grasp this with his intellect only, but that it should become truth and reality for him. He had to be brought to the point where he could say to himself,

“If I am to rule this people, I must sacrifice a portion of my spirituality, I must extinguish a part of my astral and etheric bodies. The Osiris and Isis principles must work in me. I must will nothing personally; if I say something, Osiris must speak; if I do something, Osiris must do it; if I move my hand, Osiris and Isis must be active. I must represent Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris.”

Initiation is not erudition. But to be able to do something like this, to be able to make such a sacrifice, pertains to initiation. What the Pharaoh sacrificed of himself could be filled up with portions of the folk-soul. The part of himself that the Pharaoh relinquished was just what gave him power. For justified power does not arise through a man's raising his own personality; it arises through his taking into himself something that transcends the boundaries of personality, a higher spiritual power. The Pharaoh took such a power into himself, and this was externally portrayed through the Uraeus-serpent.

Again we have peered into a mystery. We have seen something much higher than the explanations that are given today when the Pharaohs are discussed.


see full extract on: Three pre-MoG interventions of Christ#1913-12-30-GA149

The third post-Atlantean age, which we call the Egyptian-Chaldean epoch, came about partly through the reflection in human souls, as a continuing human experience, of the activities that had originated from the permeation by the Sun-Spirit of the Nathan Jesus-Being while that Being was journeying round the planets. From this arose that science of planetary activities which comes before us in Chaldean astrology; people today have a very meagre conception of what it really was. Among the Egyptian-Chaldean peoples of the epoch there developed also that star worship which is indeed known exoterically; it arose because the moderating of planetary influence was still making itself felt at that later time.


If we go back as far as the 8th Century, B.C., which is as you know, the beginning of the 4th post-Atlantean age, we come, as you also know, to the Egyptian-Chaldean age. There, human bodies had a different constitution from that of today. The human bodies of olden times, the mummies which you can now see in museums, were not constituted, in their finer essence, as human bodies are now constituted. They were filled to a far greater extent with vegetative life, they were not so lifeless, not so corpse-like as the human bodies of today. These physical bodies were, so to speak, far more similar to the plant nature, whereas the physical body of modern man — and this is already the case from the Graeco-Latin age onward — has a greater resemblance with the mineral world.

If through some cosmic miracle we would now be endowed with the bodies of the Egyptian-Chaldean peoples, we would all be ill. They would bring us illness. We would bear within our body tissues which tend towards an over-exuberant growth. Many an illness simply consists in the fact that the human body in part goes back to conditions which were normal in the Egyptian-Chaldean age. In the present time we find ulcerous growths in the human body, which are simply due to the fact that in the one or in the other person a piece of the body tends to become something resembling the whole body among the Egyptian-Chaldean population.

What I told you now, essentially depends on the development of humanity. We modern people therefore carry about with us a corpse. This was not the case with the Egyptian: his knowledge was different from ours, his intelligence worked differently from our intelligence.

Now consider carefully the following question:

What does the human being recognize with the aid of that knowledge which he designates as modern science and in which he takes so great a pride?

Only lifeless things! Science constantly emphasizes that the ordinary intelligence cannot grasp life. To be sure, some investigators believe that if they continue experimenting, they will one day be able to understand the alternating play of life through complicated combinations of atoms, molecules and their alternating forces. This will never arise. Along the chemical-physical path, they will only be able to understand the mineral, lifeless substance; that is to say, they will only be able to grasp that part of living matter which is now a corpse.

But that part in man which is intelligent and exercises cognizant forces, is nevertheless the physical body; that is, the corpse.

What is really done by the corpse which we carry about with us?

It goes furthest of all along the path of mathematical-geometrical knowledge. There, everything is transparent; but the further away we go from the mathematical-geometrical sphere, the less transparent things become. This is because the human corpse is, today, the true instrument of cognition, and because a lifeless instrument can only be used to recognize lifeless things. The etheric body, the astral body and the I in man are not instruments of cognition, but they remain, as it were, standing in the dark. If the etheric body were able to cognize, in the same way in which the physical body recognizes lifeless things, it would first of all recognize the living essence of the vegetable world.

With their living, plant-like body, the Egyptians perceived the plant world quite differently from the way in which we perceive it now. Many an instinctive knowledge concerning the plant world can be traced back to Egyptian insight, to what became embodied with the Egyptian culture through an instinctive form of cognition. Even certain botanical facts in the medical sphere are, in many respects, based on the traditions of ancient Egyptian wisdom. Indeed, to the lay judgment it may often appear amateurish to draw in Egyptian sources, when certain truths are transmitted which do not seem to be of great value. You know that many so-called lodges, which have not a right foundation, call themselves “Egyptian Lodges.” This is only because in these circles there still exist traditions of the wisdom which could be obtained through an Egyptian body.

We can say that with the gradual transition from the Egyptian into the Graeco-Latin epoch, man's living plant-like body died; already in ancient Greece this living, plant-like body had more or less died, or was at least dying off slowly.

Now we already have a physical body which is dead to a high degree, and this lifeless condition particularly applies to the human head. I already explained to you that an initiated spiritual scientist can perceive the human head as something lifeless, as something which is constantly dying. Humanity will grow more and more conscious of the fact that it is the corpse which we use as an instrument of cognition, and that this corpse can only grasp lifeless things.


in DE and internet translated in EN, below also a poor internet translation

[radical change around 6th millenium BC]

round the beginning of the 6th millennium one comes to a change - it can be traced in the decadent remnants - through which people regard what they can handle, what they can change as something else, that which is under their rule stands. They begin to tame animals, they make pets out of wild animals and become farmers. Around the beginning of the 6th millennium one comes to a change - it can be traced in the decadent remnants - through which people regard what they can handle, what they can change as something else, that which is under their rule stands. They begin to tame animals, they make pets out of wild animals and become farmers.

This is evidently the great, radical change from the 7th to the 6th millennium BC, when people began to work on nature and thereby differentiated nature from what they could not work on, what only shines down as the shining, the shiny to that which can be worked on and which can take its form from man. However, it is not only the human being that has such a formative effect; man makes tools, takes his primitive hoe, that's the instrument that preceded the plow - it was probably the women who did the farming first; he plows the ground with it by hand and sows; but he also sees that, just as the earth can receive form from him, so also that in spring, not through him, it is covered with plants, And just as the earth can receive its form from man, so also from what shines down to him from cosmic space; and he comes to the difference between light and darkness, between spirit and matter.

All of this develops in such a way that man first learned to distinguish himself from the outside world by working on nature, by becoming a farmer and cattle breeder. One can still see from the Persian culture of a later period how everything was geared towards agriculture. One sees the connection between what is expressed in the Avesta and what is described, and one sees the progress made in relation to the proto-Indian culture.

But all this develops in such a way that at the beginning man does not yet know anything about himself as himself; he identifies himself with the outside, he is in a way completely in instinctive inspiration; and he progresses from this instinctive inspiration to a later state of soul that appears in the Near East at the beginning of the 3rd millennium as the pictorial Chaldean culture, of which we can say that man is now so advanced that he not only distinguishes between upper and lower, but goes into the constellations; that he invents all kinds of instruments, water clocks and so on. But if we remain within the Chaldean, we find everywhere how man lives strongly in the outer world, how, so to speak, it is difficult for him to gain an inner experience.

In Egypt we see another. We see that Chaldean actually arose later than Egyptian; we can trace the Egyptian back a long way, but above all we can trace the Egyptian culture back to those times for which we must also place the ancient Persian culture with its metamorphosis of the Chinese, when the upper and the lower were distinguished.

[radical change around 3rd millenium BC]

But just at the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC we see a powerful, radical change within Egyptian culture. Just as we saw such a radical change in the appearance of domestication and agriculture, so we see another radical change at about the beginning of the third millennium. We come upon the same in the following manner:

We see how pyramid building developed within Egypt in later times. Today we can also trace Egyptian culture back further in history than the construction of the pyramids. Pyramid building occurs just at the beginning of the 3rd millennium, but we can trace the Egyptian further back. This Egyptian culture goes back to the Menes period before the 3rd millennium. The mighty pyramids are not built there.

Simultaneously with the building of the pyramids in Egypt we see something emerging which strongly suggests that the Egyptians experienced an internalization of the whole state of consciousness. No doubt powerful tools had to come into being in order to build the pyramids. These tools could only come from a kind of metalworking

We see what is later called chemical knowledge appearing in a primitive form among the Egyptians; we see, in other words, how man begins to put his inner being into a strong activity, and how he is not yet conscious of the fact that this inner is there. But how the human being becomes aware of the power of this inner life is something that particularly confronts us when we look at the Egyptian art of medicine, which is highly developed from a certain point of view. However, it is something completely different from our medicinal art. For those diseases that existed in Egypt, there were actually doctors specializing in ancient Egypt, especially ophthalmologists. The medicine there took the so-called temple sleep to help. The sick were taken to the temples and put into a kind of sleep, in which they fell into dream-like states. What they remembered was studied in its characteristic flatness by the priestly scholars who were instructed in such matters. Between the course of the inner drama of dreams, between the type of images, whether dark images followed light ones, light ones after dark ones, and so on, they found something that pointed to human pathology.

On the other hand, from the particular configuration of dreams, they found a hint of the remedy that whether dark images followed light ones, light followed dark ones, and so on, first of all, something that indicated the pathology of man. From the particular configuration of dreams, they found a hint of the remedy that was to be used. From this contemplation of what the human being experiences inwardly and what came before the inner eye in dream images, the people in Egypt studied the inner physical condition of the sick person.


[editor: recall Chaldea is Northern stream more outer, Egypt Southern more inner]

We see this running parallel to what was developing over there in Chaldea. In Chaldea the people lived more in an outwardly visible way. They invented tools like their wonderful water clocks that came out of the imagery of their souls. They lived so strongly in imagery that they saw time in changing images. There, imagery was more of an external element in which man lived.

With the Egyptians, imagery was something that was grasped in man's inmost being, so grasped that it was studied even in his dream forms; in short, we see a period when man no longer saw himself merely as a member of the whole world, but in which man lifted himself out of the world, individualized himself, in the two ways to the Chaldean and to the Egyptian. And we see the change in the appearance of the pictorial perception of the instinctive imaginative, which confronts us in two ways: in one way over in Chaldea, and then in another way over in Egypt.

And we see how at the beginning of the pyramid construction, which in its dimensions and geometric relationships is based on the perception of the dimensions in human development, on the development of inner strength and on the feeling of this inner strength, we see how a third cultural age results, a cultural age in which instinctive imagination provides a special nuance for human development. And we see how in all these times the social conditions arise as a necessary consequence of what appears as the state of the soul.

If we study the social conditions of the ancient Indians, we shall find how peacefully people live together there.

In the primeval Persian we see how man, in taking up the struggle with nature, receives a kind of warlike element; and we see how this martial instinct carries over into his imagination. And because the human being in his innermost being is grasped, because this instinctive grasping of man in relation to himself can only occur in the emotional, in the will-like, those power impulses are generated in man that find expression in the grotesquely large pyramid structures, which are places of death and which at the same time bear witness should be for the external power of those who rule. We see how the consciousness of power emerges, but also how foreign peoples from other areas get involved, how they bring different blood into what is imaginative, instinctive in the social conditions as well; we see such peoples coming more from the interior of Asia and mingling with the others. What they bring into it is connected with this feeling of being more than human,

In the case of the Egyptians, this increased at a certain age to such an extent that he regarded himself as a divine man; he felt his self-confidence so strongly that he regarded everyone else as barbarians and only accepted those who could live in inner images as human beings. One sees an intense consciousness of validity arising, and parallel to this emergence of the intense consciousness of validity in the human being there is an event that is linked to this state of mind.


If we study the laws of Hammurabi, we find that among domesticated domestic animals he does not yet lead the horse. But it appeared in cultural life immediately afterwards. However, Hammurabi leads to donkeys and oxen, and somewhat after his time the horse is first mentioned in the documents as the "donkey of the hill country". The horse is called the donkey of the hill country because it was brought over from the mountainous east. Peoples who pushed their way into the Chaldean from Asia brought the horse with them, and with it the warlike element appeared. We first see this warlike element born in an older age; but we see it further developed when the horse is tamed along with the other animals. And that also has to do with the state of mind of the people at that time. One can to say, man did not mount the horse and, as it were, strengthen himself as an individuality, by chaining an animal to himself in his own movement, until he had awakened to that degree of self-consciousness, as it expressed itself as that pictorial representations of the Chaldaeans as inwardly expressed in the dream-like life of the Egyptians. The external conditions of human evolution are so intimately connected with the metamorphosis of the soul condition in the successive epochs that one can say:

  • on the one hand the building of the pyramids
  • and on the other the taming of the horse

Externally they express the third cultural epoch, the Chaldean-Egyptian, and internally this is connected with the emergence of instinctive imaginative experience.

In Egypt, that which appeared as a high culture during the pyramid period, but which expressed itself in a dreamlike, imaginative way, perished relatively early. This culture dawns at the beginning of the 3rd millennium and is actually in decline after four centuries. The state of soul on which this culture is based lives, after it itself begins to decay, progressing further from Asia to the Near East, Asia Minor, comes over to the European continent and is still clearly perceptible in the way it lives out there , which comes from Asia Minor, from the older Greek culture.

It is still noticeable in the Homeric chants and their worldview. But in approaching the Homeric Cantos we are already approaching a radical change. The world view underlying the Homeric chants still shows the pictorial, the imaginative conception, still that view of the human being which goes to the pictorial. By depicting an Achilles, a Hector, Homer shows - apart from the fact that he indicates the pictorial element in pictures that are viewed from the outside, when he says, for example: "the swift-footed Achilles, Hector, the hero with the billowing crest" - what is portrayed in such a way that one has to see three-dimensionally with the inner eye of the soul in order to grasp its uniqueness. We see something of the Chaldean in Homer's whole attitude.

This changed when the Greek culture developed which we then find in Aescylos and Sophocles and in Greek sculpture, and we can distinguish it from the older ones by realizing how strongly it lived as an impulse in the Greeks to understand people in their true humanity.

If we look at what was pictorial with the Chaldeans, we can already see how plastic viewing appeared in pictorial form, and we see this especially with one of those peoples who were at least locally close to the Chaldeans, with the Sumerians. But we see how this people, like the Egyptians, is only on the way to presenting the human being externally. But then we find among the Greeks both in the drama and where the drama is transferred to the realm of sculpture, how the human being is to be grasped in his outer manifestation.

I would like to say that the man of the third period felt himself strong when he lived out his deep, instinctive powers.

  • In Egypt this happened when he built the pyramids and in a way let his power grow to gigantic proportions in the pyramid ban, and
  • with certain tribes in Asia, who lived as particularly warlike people, it is shown when he mounted a horse and felt at one with the horse.

The Greek then proceeds to say: I do not need external means; all human power lies within my skin itself. - And he plastically forms those already perfect people in a way that all that, what a previous epoch still sought through an external embodiment, takes into man. We then find this lived out in the Greek spirit, and it later presents itself in a different, more external way, pronounced in Roman times. To a certain extent we can still see today, when we remember Caesar walking across the forum or the other figures in the Roman toga, how the human being appears in much more abstract forms than in Greece We then find this lived out in the Greek spirit, and it later presents itself in a different, more external way, pronounced in Roman times. To a certain extent we can still see today, when we remember Caesar walking across the forum or the other figures in the Roman toga, how the human being appears in much more abstract forms than in Greece We then find this lived out in the Greek spirit, and it later presents itself in a different, more external way, pronounced in Roman times. To a certain extent we can still see today, when we remember Caesar walking across the forum or the other figures in the Roman toga, how the human being appears in much more abstract forms than in Greece with supreme power forming, feeling within the human skin.

A new age begins in the 6th century BC. The Homeric age lies ahead.


in DE


And then came the age of the third post-Atlantean culture. One felt the need for penetrating still further into the inner being of man or of Nature. The outer had become clearly perceptible and man is beginning to look through the outer perceptible to the spirit and soul within. The Egyptians, who belong to this age of the third post-Atlantean culture, mummified the human body. In the epoch of the old Indian culture, mummification would have made no sense; it would have been a fettering of the spirit. A distinction had arisen between body and spirit by the time mummification was practised. Formerly men would have felt they were imprisoning the human spirit, no distinction having been made yet between body and spirit, if the body had been embalmed as mummy.


When, with developed consciousness, we attain the picture stage — ‘imagination’ — we perceive the etheric as weaving pictures.

When we perceive the astral, we hear the music of the spheres which sounds towards us or, we might say, from out of ourselves. (For our own astral body leads us back to our pre-earthly life.)

And when we advance farther to the form of cognition that attains the highest degree of love — when the power of love becomes a cognitive force — when, to begin with, we see our own existence flowing from a former life on earth into this present life, we feel this former life in the normal differentiation of the ‘warmth-organism’ in which we are living. This is real intuition. We live in this. And when some impulse arises in us to do this or that, it does not only work, as in the astral body, out of the spiritual world, but from still farther back — from our former life on Earth. Our former life on Earth works into the warmth of our organism, and kindles this or that impulse.

Thus we see

  • in the earthly, solid Man the physical body,
  • in the fluid Man the etheric body,
  • in the airy Man the astral body,
  • and in the warmth element the I proper. (The I of the present incarnation is never complete; it is always developing.) It is the I of the former life on Earth, working in subconscious depths, that is the I proper. And when you perceive a Man clairvoyantly you are led to say: lie is standing here and I see him, to begin with, with my external senses. But I also see what is etheric and what is astral; then, behind him, the man he was in his previous incarnation.

In fact, the more this consciousness is developed, the more clearly do we see, in a kind of perspective, the head of his last incarnation a little above the head of his present incarnation, and, some-what higher still, the head of his second last incarnation.

In civilisations in which there was still a kind of instinctive consciousness of these things, you will find pictures which show, behind the clearly drawn countenance of the present incarnation, a second countenance less clearly painted; behind this a third that is still less clear. There are Egyptian pictures like this. You understand such pictures if you are able to perceive, behind the present Man, the Man he was in his last and second last incarnations.

Not until one can extend Man's life in time to include previous incarnations can one really speak of the I as the fourth member of human nature.

Daskalos in the book 'Symbol of Life

see: Daskalos#.5B1.5D - Symbol of Life and origin of the Hebrew Tree of Life


Related pages

References and further reading

See also:

Egyptian culture

  • Ernst Bindel: 'Die ägyptischen Pyramiden als Zeugen vergangener Mysterienweisheit' (1932)
  • Ernst Uehli: 'Kultur und Kunst Ägyptens. Ein Isisgeheimnis' (1955)
  • Hella Krause-Zimmer: 'Echnaton. König im Frühlicht der Zeitenwende' (1972)
  • Evelies Schmidt: 'Ägypten und ägyptische Mythologie. Bilder der Transition im Werk Andrej Belyjs (1986)
  • Frank Teichmann: The sacred mysteries of Egypt (2016 in EN, original in DE 1999)
  • Daskalos: 'The symbol of life' (1998)


  • James Ralston Skinner (1830-1893)
    • The Great pyramid of Jizeh, the Plan and Object of its Construction (1871)
    • Some Light Upon the Egyptian Method of Chronology (1876)
    • Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery in the Source of Measures Originating the British Inch and the Ancient Cubit (1875)
    • Actual Measures of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, in Terms of the British Inch: Disclosing, by Its Means, the Architectural System Employed in the Construction (1883)
    • Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery in the Source of Measures Originating the British Inch and the Ancient Cubit, by Which was Built the Great Pyramid of Egypt and the Temple of Solomon; and through the Possession and Use of Which, Man, Assuming to Realize the Creative Law of the Deity, Set It Forth in a Mystery, Among the Hebrews Called Kabbala. (1876, 1894, 1982)
    • Kabala, the Zodiac and the Great Pyramid of Gheza.
  • René Adolphe Schwaller de Lubicz (1887-1961)
    • The Temple In Man (published in EN as 'The Temple In Man: The Secrets of Ancient Egypt' (1977) and 'The Temple In Man: Sacred Architecture and The Perfect Man' (1981), original in FR 1949 as 'Le Temple dans l'homme'
    • The Temple of Man: Apet of The South at Luxor (1998 in EN, original in FR 1957 as 'Le Temple de l'homme, Apet du Sud à Louqsor')
    • Sacred Science: The King of Pharaonic Theocracy (1982 in EN, original in FR 1961 as 'Le Roi de la Théocratie Pharaonique'
    • The Egyptian Miracle: An Introduction To The Wisdom of The Temple (1985 in EN, original in FR 1963 as 'Le Miracle Égyptien')
    • The Temples of Karnak (1999 in EN, original in FR 1982 as 'Les Temples de Karnak: contribution à l’étude de la Pensée Pharaonique')